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Stingrays Used to Block Calls in the UK

When it comes to the Stingray, the US has been up in arms over the devices that not only intercept your mobile phone’s calls and messages but can be used to record your very intimate and private messages. The reason for intercepting your technological secrets is normally classed as security, but now it would seem that the Stingray has skipped overseas and is now in use in the UK.

The new revelation seems to come from a Freedom of Information request shows that at least two of the devices are in the Scotland’s prisons. Officially titled IMSI catchers, the devices have been used in two Scottish prisons, one of which is still active. The devices mimic mobile phone towers, catching and passing on the data after normally taking a copy.

Mobile phones are banned in the prisons, being marked as contraband for inmates. The Stingrays, in this case, were just deployed to intercept the phones messages but never pass them on.

Their deployment is common knowledge within the US but use of the technology in the UK was merely rumour until this point. The next question people will ask is how often these devices are used, with potentially thousands of people’s phone signals being intercepted in cities without their knowledge.

Gareth Andrews

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